Corner-kick: Questions surrounding the said largesse

When Enyimba announced… Well, no, it was not announced per se, was it? But when we heard that our club had signed Ikechukwu Ezenwa earlier this year, there was initially some surprise.

After all, we had, in Theophilus Afelokhai and Fatau Dauda, two of the finest goalkeepers in the league. Stockpiling talent is nothing new for us, but why was it necessary to add the then national team first-choice goalkeeper.

Well, the most common theory proved to be true, based on yesterday’s blog post. As a result of being a part of Nigeria’s squad to the World Cup, Ezenwa has fetched the club a neat sum of money. According to AOIFootball, it makes out to something like 42 million Naira. That is a lot of money.

That amount will be paid to the club through the NFF. This raises three questions: first, how soon will we be able to access our money? Secondly, will we be getting all of it? Third, what will it be used for?

These questions are not as trivial as they seem. Live in Nigeria long enough, and it becomes easy to understand why anyone would be wary. After all, we are fans of clubs that have no model for accountability and transparency anyway. Our clubs belong to state governments, who have no interest in how things are run beyond disbursing money when they can, and usually in the most showy way in order to be termed “football-loving Governor”.

As a result, those who run the clubs can do whatever they like. So while there are certain needs which that money might address (players’ bonuses, or even a proper bus, since we insist we can only travel by road), there are no guarantees.

There is also no guarantee that the money will even get to the club in one piece, without someone at the NFF taking a slice to “process” it. These things happen.

You would hope that, whatever amount gets to us, we’d use it judiciously for the club. That bus issue, in particular, is pertinent. The images of the Coaster bus our players travel in are pretty depressing, as we all know it is altogether too small for the kind of cross-country trips we undertake. I think that, at one time, the club had a big Marapco bus. I don’t know what became of it. Whatever the case may be, this is the sort of windfall that you want to utilize in solving a specific problem, not to share to all the hangers-on that plague the club.

If you haven’t figured it out, this is a post about hope. The hope that the Nigerian factor does not kick in. Also, more importantly, the hope that our club management do what is right. Hope maketh not ashamed.

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